iPhone owners angered by Steve Jobs' response to reception issue

Remember Steve Jobs’ advice regarding the iPhone 4’s reported reception issues – it’s all your fault – relayed via an email from the Apple CEO himself (yes, one of those emails). Well, perhaps unsurprisingly, it hasn’t gone down well with UK early adopters of the company’s latest smartphone.

That’s according to a rather opportunistic “flash” survey from rightmobilephone, which found that 63% of respondents were “particularly angered” by Jobs’ email in which he told one early iPhone 4 adopter to “avoid holding [the phone] in that way”.

The mobile phone comparison website polled 836 iPhone 4 users, 93% of whom claimed to have already been affected by a loss of signal whilst gripping the handset to make calls, whilst 78% of owners dubbed the fault “an insult”.

Furthermore, 89% said they’d begrudge shelling out £25 for an official ‘Bumper’ case which apparently prevents signal loss by insulating the iPhone’s various antennas. And, frankly, who wants to own an object of desire only to wrap it up in an ugly case.

Now, of course, the survey’s results aren’t really all that surprising; early adopters of any new consumer technology are never happy if issues arise, but that’s arguably part and parcel of the game. What is more significant, however, is that Jobs’ reality distortion field seems to be weakening or at least the Apple PR machine is having an off day.

As Neil McHugh, managing director of rightmobilephone, notes in the accompanying press release:

“Apple has done a fantastic job of creating a huge amount of publicity around the launch, so I hope the PR response to this obvious technical flaw is better than simply telling owners to hold the handset a different way or pay more for the Bumper case.”

And Jobs’ himself appears to have acknowledged the PR mistake, reportedly breaking with the official line – which of course he writes anyway – telling one iPhone reader in the latest email response to be made public to: “Stay tuned.”

So perhaps it isn’t your fault after all.